Sclerotherapy | Spider Vein Treatment
This discussion is for sclerotherapy of superficial visible veins. A different type called ultrasound guided sclerotherapy is for the treatment of incompetent veins and is discussed on a different page. Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure used to treat small Varicose Veins and Spider Veins. At MD Laser Medicine & Surgery, sclerotherapy involves the injection of either Sotradecol (sodium tetradecycl sulfate) or Asclera (polidocanol) , directly into the varicose vein. Both Sotradecol (sodium tetradecyl sulfate) and Asclera are FDA-approved chemicals indicated for sclerotherapy. The chemical solution irritates the lining of the vessel, causing it to swell and stick together, and the blood to clot. Over time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view. Sclerotherapy is a time tested procedure that has a long medicinal history. During the procedure, which typically takes just 15 to 30 minutes, mild stinging is typically reported by patients. However, there is no recovery or downtime necessary.
Schedule your consultation with Dr. Banda today to learn more about this procedure, his experience and training. Discover why we are the region’s destination for minimally-invasive cosmetic medical procedures.
SCLEROTHERAPY SUCCESS RATES
Sclerotherapy works well for most patients with small varicose veins when there is no deeper underlying vein problem. In most cases, however, varicose veins are due to problems with underlying deeper veins. At MD Laser Medicine & Surgery, we believe in a comprehensive approach to the treatment of varicose veins. When problems with the deep veins are identified, Dr. Banda first treats the underlying problem before addressing the superficial varicose veins and spider veins. In fact, once the underlying problem is addressed, in a substantial number of cases, the varicose veins and spider veins will disappear without superficial sclerotherapy.
When sclerotherapy is identified as the appropriate treatment for small varicose veins, as many as 50-80% of injected varicose veins may be eliminated with each sclerotherapy injection session.
In general, spider veins respond to sclerotherapy in three to six weeks, and varicose veins respond in three to four months. If the veins respond to the treatment, they will not reappear if any underlying problems were addressed first.
IDEAL SCLEROTHERAPY CANDIDATE
Prior to the procedure, you will undergo an initial consultation with Dr. Banda, who is fully trained and licensed as a phlebology physician specialist. During your initial consultation, your veins will be evaluated and the determination will be made as to whether you are eligible for sclerotherapy. Some patients may require a duplex vascular ultrasound scan (or sonogram) before this determination is made. Patients who are not candidates for sclerotherapy, include those who are pregnant, breast feeding or bedridden. Female patients must wait at least three months after childbirth before being considered for sclerotherapy. Patients who take birth control pills may still be candidates for sclerotherapy. If you have had a blood clot in the past, your eligibility will be decided on an individual basis, and will depend on the extremity and the reason for the clot. Schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Banda today to find if you’re a candidate.
MINIMAL SIDE EFFECTS OF SCLEROTHERAPY
Possible side effects of sclerotherapy are minimal. In some cases, larger injected varicose veins may become lumpy and hard for several months before resolving following sclerotherapy. Raised red areas may appear at the injection sites and should disappear within a few days. Brown lines or spots on the skin may be noted at the site of the injection, possibly caused by a form of iron that escapes from the injected veins. In most cases, these disappear within three to six months, but can be permanent about 5% of the time. Bruising may occur around the injection site and typically lasts up to several days or weeks.
NO DOWNTIME OR RECOVERY
Following sclerotherapy, you will be able to drive yourself home. You will also be encouraged to walk and resume most of your regular activities. You will wear support hosiery or compression wraps to “compress” the treated vessels. For your convenience, medical support hosiery is available for professional fit and purchase in our office. Support stockings purchased from a department store may not be adequate if a heavy compression stocking is prescribed.
In addition, aspirin, Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory medications should be avoided for at least 48 hours following sclerotherapy. Tylenol may be used, if needed. You will be required to refrain from taking hot baths or sitting in a hot tub or sauna, as well as applying hot compresses or any other forms of heat to the treatment areas for at least 48 hours following treatment. Moreover, direct exposure to sunlight (including sun bathing and tanning beds), jogging, swimming and high impact aerobics should also be avoided.
Most major health insurance companies do not cover sclerotherapy when it is performed for cosmetic reasons. However, some insurance companies may cover the procedure for specific medical conditions. Your insurance company may request a letter from us concerning the nature of your treatment. If you are considering sclerotherapy, contact your insurance provider to verify coverage. Schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Banda today.